U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

Creating PDFs with Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite Products

This page describes the best practices for creating PDFs with Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite products.

Once you have configured your Acrobat settings to EERE standards, follow the guidelines below to create your PDFs.

Create PDFs using Microsoft Office Applications

Screen shot of the print dialogue box showing Adobe PDF as the selected printer.
  • Make sure to select Adobe PDF as your printer so that your document will be formatted for postscript PDF creation.
    • Though you can create a PDF without selecting Adobe PDF as your printer, the document will reflow based on the printer you have selected and you will not get consistent results.
  • The Cancel button in the print dialog box changes to a Close button whenever you change a printer. Be sure to click Close after selecting Adobe PDF printer instead of OK or else the document will start to print through Adobe PDF printer instead of PDFMaker.
    • PDF creation through PDFMaker allows you to retain all interactive elements (bookmarks, links, etc.) that you have selected in your PDFMaker settings.
    • Interactive elements cannot be carried-thru when printing through Adobe PDF printer.
  • Select Acrobat from the ribbon menu, and click on the Preferences button. These preferences control how the PDF is created and what functionality is added to them when you click the Create PDF button. These are "sticky" settings, meaning that anything you select here will stay until you change it again.
    • Settings Tab
      • Select StdWeb72, StdWeb150, or StdPrint
      • Select Prompt for Adobe PDF file name
      • Select Add links or Add bookmarks if desired
      • Select Enable Accessibility and Reflow with Tagged Adobe PDF
    • Security Tab – leave everything unchecked.
    • Word Tab – Select only options desired in resulting PDF. Selecting options that are not pertinent to your document unnecessarily slows PDF creation time.
    • Bookmarks Tab – If styles and headings were used in the document, select appropriate levels of automatic bookmark generation as desired.
    • Excel and PowerPoint – Slightly different tabs and options, select as appropriate
  • Click the PDFMaker Create PDF button.
  • Save the file.
    Screen shot of the Acrobat PDF Maker dialogue box showing conversion settings at StdWeb150.

Finalize PDF

Once you've created your PDF, follow the steps on the Finalizing PDFs to EERE Standards page to ensure your PDF is ready to post.